Volkswagen global 2017 LCV sales up by 5% to end of June

Volkswagen global 2017 LCV sales up by 5% to end of June

From January to June, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles delivered 249,800 LCVs to customers worldwide, an increase of 5.0% compared with the same period last year.

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In Western Europe, deliveries increased by 5.1% to 173,300 vehicles:

In the German home market, 63,300 light commercial vehicles were handed over to customers (+2.8%). The brand also achieved growth in deliveries made in Italy (+15.5% to 6,400 vehicles), France (+12.2% to 11,100 vehicles) and Spain (+8.5% to 7,600 vehicles). In Great Britain 23,700 LCVs were handed over to customers from January to June (-3.0%).

Deliveries of 19,100 LCVs in Eastern Europe corresponded to an increase of 16.4% for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Outside Europe, Mexico was able with 5,500 units to almost double deliveries (+55.0%). All four model ranges recorded growth in comparison to the prior year. The T6 and Caddy (C4), in particular, were the driving forces here.

More vehicles were also handed over to customers in Asia-Pacific (+12.9% to 12,600 vehicles) and South America (+12.4% to 19,400 vehicles).

Markets in Africa (-15.5% to 6,300 vehicles) and the Middle East (-20.4% to 13,600 vehicles) recorded a fall in sales.

Overview of worldwide deliveries by model range (January to June 2017 inclusive):

105,000 vehicles from the T model range (100,100; +4.9%)
85,700 vehicles from the Caddy range (78,800; +8.6%)
37,700 vehicles from the Amarok range (35,700; +5.5%)
21,400 vehicles from the Crafter range (23,200; -7.7%).

As a stand-alone brand within the Volkswagen Group, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is responsible globally for the development, construction and sales of light commercial vehicles, producing the Transporter, Caddy, Crafter and Amarok ranges.

In 2016, the brand sold around 480,000 light commercial vehicles, produced at its sites in Hanover (Germany), Poznań (Poland), Września (Poland) and Pacheco (Argentina). Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles employs over 21,000 people globally.

ACEA reports car sales growth slump over Brexit fears and dieselgate

ACEA reports car sales growth slump over Brexit fears and dieselgate

Latest European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) figures show demand rose at a slower pace in June due to uncertainty over the UK's exit from the EU.

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Added to this were the short calendar selling month in Germany and the buying public's antipathy towards diesel-engined vehicles after the various scandals.

Passenger car registrations: up 4.7% during first half of 2017; +2.1% in June
Over the first half of 2017, EU demand for passenger cars grew (+4.7%), with more than 8 million new vehicles registered. Italy (+8.9%), Spain (+7.1%), Germany (+3.1%) and France (+3.0%) saw their demand increase, while the United Kingdom registered a slight decline (‐1.3%).

In June 2017, passenger car registrations increased only modestly (+2.1%) across the EU, totalling about 1.5 million units. In volume terms, however, last month's figures come very close to those from June 2007, just before the automotive industry was hit by the economic crisis – thus marking the market's best performance in a decade. Results among the five big markets were rather diverse, with Italy (+12.9%) and Spain (+6.5%) performing very well, while the UK and Germany saw registrations decline (‐4.8% and ‐3.5% respectively).

Strong showing from new member states

Noteworthy was the strong performance of the new EU member states (+12.0%), making a significant contribution to region's results.

Carlos Tavares PSA Push to Pass global plan buttressed by product power

Carlos Tavares PSA Push to Pass global plan buttressed by product power

Group PSA continued its product offensive launched in 2016 as part of its strategic plan for profitable growth "Push to Pass": 31 of the 121 launches presented in the plan will take place before the end of 2017 in the six regions in which the Group operates.

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In Europe: Group PSA recorded a 4% increase in registrations and a sales volume of 1,036,000 vehicles in the first half of 2017, a fall of 1.9%. The new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV has registered 205,000 orders since its launch, and 114,900 sales in the first half of the year. The new PEUGEOT 5008 SUV has already recorded 21,400 sales.

The new CITROËN C3 registered 120,000 sales in the first half of the year, increasing C3 orders by 68% since the beginning of the year. A total of almost 160,000 sales has now been recorded for this new model since its launch. 

The offensive will continue in the second half of 2017 with the commercial launch of the new PEUGEOT 308 from September and two new SUV models for CITROËN: C3 Aircross in Europe and C5 Aircross in China. The commercial launch of the DS 7 CROSSBACK SUV will start in October in the dedicated DS network in Europe.
CITROËN recorded its best volume of registrations in Europe for six years, with a 5.6% increase, one point above market volume.

On the LCV market, with the new PEUGEOT Expert and CITROËN Jumpy, the Group's market share increased by 1.2 points to 20.4%. This increase was also driven by the PEUGEOT Partner and CITROËN Berlingo which are ranked 1st and 3rd, respectively, in their segment and are the best-selling small vans in Europe.

DS Automobiles continues its transformation by developing its network, which now includes 116 dedicated sales points in Europe on the eve of the arrival of the DS 7 CROSSBACK. In the first half of 2017, five limited editions were launched as well as the DS 7 CROSSBACK La Première with a conquest rate of 60% since reservations opened.

In China and South East Asia: in a fiercely competitive context, Group PSA changed its economic and commercial business model with respect to the network and partners of the two joint ventures DPCA and CAPSA. As part of this change, on 7 June, Group PSA signed an agreement strengthening its collaboration with ChangAn Automobile to accelerate the development of the DS brand in China. In Vietnam, to accelerate the development of its activities, in the 2nd half of the year, the Group, along with its partner THACO, will launch the local assembly and marketing of two new SUVs.

In the Middle East & Africa: Group PSA continued its profitable growth totalling 277,900 sales, with growth of sales in Morocco (+5%) and Turkey (+5%) in particular. Group PSA also consolidated its position in Iran with the creation of two JVs which are now operational. The start of local production of the PEUGEOT 2008 SUV and its pre-sales marketing have been a huge success. Group PSA continued its product offensive in this region with the successful launches of the new CITROËN C3 and renewal of the C-Elysée, the new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV and the new Peugeot 301. Unveiled in June 2017, the new PEUGEOT Pick Up signals the brand's return to this strategic segment. It will be marketed in Q3 2017.

In Latin America: Group sales grew by 8.5%, with 96,300 vehicles sold in an increasingly competitive environment. PEUGEOT sales were up 5.2%, in particular thanks to the launch of the new PEUGEOT 301 in Argentina, Mexico and Chile in Q2. Things look very promising for the new 3008 SUV recently launched in Mexico, Brazil and Chile. It will be sold in Argentina by the end of the year. CITROËN sales increased by 14.7% in the region. This growth was driven in particular by Argentina where registrations for the brand increased by 33%. The DS brand continued its growth in the region with a 48.6% rise in sales. In a few months' time, it will open four new DS STORES to commercialise the DS 7 CROSSBACK.

In Eurasia: Group PSA sales increased by 26.4% thanks to the dynamism of the PEUGEOT (+41.1%) and CITROËN (+10.5%) brands, in particular in Ukraine where the market is experiencing a significant rebound. While waiting for the launch of the new generation PEUGEOT Expert and Traveller and the CITROËN Jumpy and SpaceTourer in Russia in the second half of the year, the Group's LCV sales increased by 18%. These launches will be completed by the new PEUGEOT 408, manufactured in Kaluga and to be launched in July, and the new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV launched in Russia on 1 July, reinforcing the up-market strategy of the PEUGEOT brand in the region. Group PSA continued its development in the Eurasia region with the signature in Uzbekistan of a Joint Venture agreement with SC Uzavtosanoat for the production of LCVs from 2019.

The India-Pacific region: This was marked by Group PSA's good performance in Japan (+11.1%). Growth in the region is driven by the CITROËN brand (+52.8%), in particular thanks to the new C4 Picasso, and the C4 Cactus in Korea and Japan. The new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV was hugely successful in Korea and Japan with more than 2,300 orders in four months. With the opening in Nagoya of a new DS STORE, the DS brand now has two DS STORES and one DS SALON in Japan.

Denmark transit system buys a further Iveco Crossway Euro 6 compliant buses

Denmark transit system buys a further Iveco Crossway Euro 6 compliant buses

IVECO BUS, the global bus brand of CNH Industrial, has started delivery of 142 Crossway intercity buses to Denmark.

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The supply is the result of three successful tenders with transit operators Midttrafik, Sydttrafik and Movia. The Crossways are being delivered through VBI Group, Denmark's largest bus dealer and local dealer for IVECO BUS.

The European market leader in the intercity bus segment, with a 64% stake in Denmark alone, the Crossway model is built at the Company's Vysoké Mýto plant in the Czech Republic. This site boasts a well-established tradition in bus manufacturing having celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2015. Since the model's launch, close to 30,000 Crossways have been shipped to customers.

The efficiency of these vehicles comes from the use of Euro VI engines adopting the high efficiency Selective Catalytic Reduction (HI-SCR) after-treatment system. This system operates without exhaust gas recirculation, avoiding all the risks of forced high-heat regeneration, since it does not affect the combustion process: the engine only takes in clean fresh air, which does not mix with hot recirculated exhaust gas. Moreover, the HI-SCR system does not require fuel to be injected into the exhaust.

Hyundai Motor Europe's roadmap for 2021: four strategic cornerstones for growth

Hyundai Motor Europe's roadmap for 2021: four strategic cornerstones for growth

Hyundai Motor has said that it will be launching 30 new models and derivatives over the next five years in Europe, in order to increase the brand's presence in the relevant market segments.

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Along with the unveiling of the latest models of the Hyundai i30 range, the i30 N and i30 Fastback, the company is introducing its latest strategic approach.

"To become number one Asian automotive brand in Europe by 2021, we have defined four strategic cornerstones, each grounded on our customers' needs and expectations," said Thomas Schmid, Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor Europe. "Our objective is to "democratise" new technologies and to make our customers' lives easier at every stage. We are already the number one car brand in terms of customer satisfaction in both sales and service in Europe, but we are progressing at great speed: By expanding our strong product line-up, combined with our digital and intelligent services, we will create a completely new customer experience and attract new customer groups."

Hyundai Motor's four cornerstones for implementing the new strategic platform focus on DNA models, future mobility, the SUV range and performance & emotion, as a foundation for Hyundai's success in Europe.

Hyundai Motor's DNA cars – the i-range

They represent the core of the Hyundai brand in Europe and continue to be the foundation of the brand's success in the region. With more than 55% of sales in Europe in 2016, the current i10, i20, i30 and i40 models are important sales drivers for the carmaker.

Future mobility: a technology-driven and innovative approach in order to stay ahead

Hyundai Motor boasts that it is the car manufacturer offering the broadest range of powertrains. To strengthen this first-mover position in the segment of eco-mobility and also the company's leadership in Fuel Cell technology, the brand is globally launching 14 new eco models, including five hybrids, four plug-in hybrids, four pure electric and one fuel-cell electric vehicles between now and 2020.

The SUV range: premium products in the fastest-growing market segment

Hyundai Motor's strong SUV base began with the introduction of the Santa Fe in 2001. Since then, the SUV line-up has gained both credibility and a significant market share, with more than 1.4 million sales in Europe. A powerful driver is the Hyundai Tucson. Since its launch in 2015, the C-SUV has advanced to become Hyundai's fastest-selling model in Europe, with over 250,000 units sold by mid-2017. With the All-New Kona, Hyundai is about to enter Europe's fastest-growing B-SUV segment. An electric-only version will be presented in 2018.

Performance & emotion: Hyundai N and motor sport

When Hyundai Motor entered the motor sport scene with its WRC entry in 2014, it quickly established itself among the top teams. The motor sport experience formed the foundation for Hyundai's N sub-brand and its All-New i30 N, the company's first high-performance car. The Hyundai N model delivers maximum driving enjoyment in everyday life. The i30 N provides outstanding performance in cornering, is capable of racetrack driving and offers balanced driving modes, depending of the driver's preferences and the road conditions. The N logo symbolises a chicane, the ultimate corner where the i30 N has been tested thoroughly.

Strike threat over – UK Mini and Rolls-Royce car workers accept BMW's revised pensions offer

Strike threat over – UK Mini and Rolls-Royce car workers accept BMW's revised pensions offer

Members of the Unite union, making Mini and Rolls-Royce motor cars for the German car giant BMW, have voted overwhelmingly to accept a revised offer over the closure of their final salary pension scheme.

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A total of 81.5% of Unite members working at BMW's car plants in Cowley (MINI), Hams Hall (engines), Swindon (body pressings) and Goodwood (Rolls-Royce assembly), backed a revised offer bringing a long running pensions' dispute to an end.

The revised offer sees the closure of the final salary pension scheme and workers moved into one of the leading defined contribution pension schemes in the auto industry.

Unite shop stewards did not make a recommendation on the deal, which also includes greater flexibility on the timings of transitional payments totalling £22,000 ($28,000) over three years. Alternatively, members can opt for a transitional payment of £25,000 spread over three years to be paid into their new defined contribution scheme.

BMW initially offered workers transitional payments worth £7,000 in an effort to solve the dispute, which saw four walkouts involving workers at all four plants and brought engine, Mini and Rolls-Royce motor car production lines to a halt.

Unite national officer Fred Hanna said: "Unite members have overwhelmingly backed the revised pension offer bringing this long running dispute to an end. BMW's UK workforce is among the most efficient and skilled in the auto industry. We look forward to working with BMW to ensure the world beating Mini and Rolls-Royce motor cars go from strength to strength."

Mercedes-Benz Düsseldorf plant to become competence centre for Sprinter with electric drive

Mercedes-Benz Düsseldorf plant to become competence centre for Sprinter with electric drive

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Düsseldorf is making intensive preparations for the market launch of the next-generation of the Sprinter, including an electric version.

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The company management and the works council have now agreed that the electric-drive Sprinter will also roll off the production line in Düsseldorf, the lead Sprinter plant worldwide.

"Our Düsseldorf Sprinter plant is an outstanding success story. Well over four million vans manufactured in 55 years, a pivotal role as the lead plant for the worldwide Sprinter production, cutting-edge facilities and processes and benchmark quality – the facts speak for themselves," said Frank Klein, Head of Operations at Mercedes-Benz Vans. "We are now beginning a new chapter in the Düsseldorf Sprinter story. Electric drive systems are a key technology when it comes to urban transport – especially in the commercial environment. Our far-sighted agreement that the new electric-drive Sprinter will roll of the production line here is a hugely significant one. We are ensuring the long-term prospects of our Sprinter plant and helping to make it futureproof."

Significant investment in electrification and in the Düsseldorf plant

Over the next few years Mercedes-Benz Vans will be investing a total of around €150 million in electrifying its commercial range, based on the Vito and the Sprinter. The business unit can make use of existing modular construction technologies deployed by Mercedes-Benz Cars and benefit from economies of scale.

At the Düsseldorf plant around €300 million are being invested in the production of the next-generation Sprinter. The relevant employees are undergoing training to prepare for work on the electric Sprinter and other technological developments. The company and the works council have also agreed to carry out measures to increase flexible working and boost efficiency.

SAIC Motor India MG plant investment plans finalised for ex-GM facility

SAIC Motor India MG plant investment plans finalised for ex-GM facility

The Chinese carmaker has entered into an MoU with the Gujarat government to establish the plant at Halol, where MG brand cars will be manufactured.

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The company expects to invest over ₹ 2,000 crore ($310 million) in the next five years and begin production from 2019, a government release said. The MoU was signed between SAIC Motor officials and state government representatives in the presence of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, it said.

The facility will be based at the former General Motors plant, said M K Das, Gujarat's principal secretary, industry and mines department. The project will create 1,000 jobs in the state and will see five suppliers: Yan Feng, Huichoung, Waling Industry, Ling Yun and Sevic establish plants in the area, the company said.

SAIC Motor India

SAIC Motor plans to bring the MG car brand in India by 2019. The Chinese firm had earlier said it plans to operate in the country through a fully-owned subsidiary, MG Motor India, and appointed ex-General Motors India head Rajeev Chaba as its president and MD, with well-known automotive industry veteran P Balendran as executive director. As part of India entry plans, the company would introduce environment-friendly mobility solutions under its iconic 'MG' (Morris Garages) brand.

Earlier this year, SAIC signed a 'term sheet' to evaluate buying the Halol plant of General Motors in Gujarat after the US OEM decided to stop production as part of shrinking its manufacturing operations in India. In 2009, during the bankruptcy crisis faced by the US carmaker, SAIC bought a 50% stake in General Motors India . GM later bought back the stake.

The carmaker has not revealed which MG models will be made or marketed in India but the MG GS crossover pictured above seems a likely candidate, given Indian car buyers' new-found fondness for SUVs and crossovers.

Daimler Buses joins CleverShuttle – a cooperation for on-demand mobility

Daimler Buses joins CleverShuttle – a cooperation for on-demand mobility

Daimler Buses is joining the Berlin-based CleverShuttle mobility service as a strategic investor.

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Using the CleverShuttle software platform, traffic associations and companies offer innovative solutions in order to be able to optimally adapt their mobility offers to customer requirements at any time. The new on-demand software is based on the tried-and-tested technology from CleverShuttle and can be integrated into existing regular service routes. This collaboration leads to transport offerings which are more suited to requirements and which, at the same time, are more economical.

CleverShuttle holds a pioneering role in Germany in the field of "on-demand mobility": since the beginning of 2016, the company has been running a car-sharing service based on the use of electrically-powered passenger cars and was thus already able to gather experience in efficient pooling and route optimisation.

Heinz Friedrich, Head of Mobility Solutions Daimler Buses: "In the development of new solutions concerning the future of mobility, we're not only working with our long-standing customers from the public transport networks, but also with new, innovative technology companies from the start-up scene. This allows us to quickly provide our customers with new offers in order to adjust their future business even better to their individual requirements. Together with CleverShuttle we are going to test the new services already this year as a part of an initial pilot phase in a German city."

"We're really driving things forward as we are already starting to see how well-received our ride-sharing concept in Berlin, Leipzig and Munich is," said Bruno Ginnuth, Co-founder and Managing Director of CleverShuttle. "With it, we're closing the gap between buses and taxis. Both have their own purpose, but in between them there was hardly anything available in Germany. Now we want to use our knowledge as a B2B solution and have gained the best partner we could have wished for in the form of Daimler Buses."

Ferrari wins Red Dot design award for third year running

Ferrari wins Red Dot design award for third year running

For the third year running, Ferrari has taken the Red Dot: Best of the Best award for the maximum expression of design quality and ground-breaking design.

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The model to receive the top Red Dot Award in the prestigious annual Product Design competition this year was the Ferrari J50, the strictly limited series of bespoke cars built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ferrari in Japan.

A sophisticated two-seater, mid-rear-engined roadster based on the 488 Spider, the J50 features a radically futuristic design language and was praised by the Red Dot jurors for its innovation. Designed by the Ferrari Design team under the direction of Flavio Manzoni, just 10 examples of the J50 will be built in the spirit of Ferrari's fuori serie tradition. The international jury of design experts also awarded Ferrari Red Dot distinctions for the high design quality of the GTC4Lusso, LaFerrari Aperta and the 458 MM Speciale.

The GTC4Lusso is Ferrari's flagship GT production car, an exclusive interpretation of the four-seater concept, the LaFerrari Aperta and the 458 MM Speciale is one of the latest creations from Ferrari's special One-Off programme, a bespoke service for clients.

Groupe Renault celebrates 1,000,000th vehicle produced at the Tangier plant in Morocco

Groupe Renault celebrates 1,000,000th vehicle produced at the Tangier plant in Morocco

Groupe Renault is celebrating the production of the millionth vehicle at the Renault-Nissan plant in Tangier: a five-seat, Azurite Blue Dacia Lodgy powered by a diesel engine and sold to a customer in Turkey.

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In all, 474,840 Sanderos, 320,078 Dokkers and 193,181 Lodgys have been manufactured in Tangier since the plant's inauguration in 2012. In addition to covering the Moroccan market, the models built at the factory are exported to more than 73 destinations.

The inauguration of the Tangier plant's first production line in February 2012, in the presence of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI and Carlos Ghosn, CEO, Groupe Renault, and the launch of a second line in 2013, marked a turning point in Morocco's automotive sector. Indeed, it was the birth of the biggest car manufacturing plant south of the Mediterranean.

Today, the plant operates in three eight-hour shifts per day, six days a week, with an annual production capacity of 340,000 vehicles. The Renault-Nissan Tangier plant, a main driver of the Moroccan economy, supports Dacia brand growth by exporting the majority of its production. Half of all Dacias are produced in Morocco at either the Tangier plant or at the SOMACA facility in Casablanca.

Groupe Renault has been present in Morocco since 1928 and is the undisputed leader in the national market with its two brands, Dacia and Renault. 4 vehicles out of 10 sold in Morocco are sold by the Groupe Renault. The Renault plant in Casablanca (SOMACA) produces Renault models since 1966, and since 2005 for the Dacia models.

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